Posted by mTd at 1/17/2001 2:04 PM EST
Engineer from Univ of X.
Having been a participant in the competition the past two years, but opting to avoid this competition this year after seeing it, I thought I would express my views on why.
The game this year is less a competition and more a showcase. Yes there is some competition, but you have very little control over your own fate. While you may have designed a great robot, you can go unnoticed more easily than in the past.
While many people here speculate on FIRST getting a TV show, this competition shows why FIRST will NOT be on television any time soon. Many posts described how the game this year will not be as exciting to watch as in the past. If the tv show was limited to the final, there is no guarantee of nothing but great robots because the teams that make it into the finals will have ended up with great partners the whole way.
Everyone advocates the growth of FIRST. But now that the national competition is limited, does everyone feel the same?.. What would you say if your team could only compete at the regional competitons? If Nationals is based on first-come first served, your team may be sitting at home watching the competition over the internet. If the national competition is going to be merit based, the competition has to be structured that way. Currently, you cannot earn your way into the nationals on your own. Not to mention you have to pay in December. before the competition.
Will FIRST continue it’s immense growth? Probably, but then again who knows. Would your team be willing to spend $40K on a game where you do not compete?
This game has lost the strategy found in previous competitons. YES, there is a lot to plan for. Ususually, rookie teams are advised to “try to do one thing great.” Well, when it’s two on two, being able to do one thing great is a good thing. When it’s four on none, its only a good thing if the other teams are compatible with you.
I AM NOT giving up on first. I plan to be back next year. But I think that in the past two years, the competition has started losing the spirit from the past.